30 Mar 2015

Story Of Tublu ~ Book Review

I received this book from the debutant author himself. When I first saw the book, I found the title was impressive with a good cover design. Story Of Tublu : An Amazing Journey Called Life by Jahid Akhtar - A straightforward, heart warming story of a boy and a girl, put in a simple and neat narration.

Being a slow reader, I managed to finish reading it in a couple of days. I enjoy thrillers the most but though this novel did not have any twists or thrilling scenes, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

The story is about Tublu, our protagonist who developed a silent love for his secret crush - Maina. It’s a journey through different phases of life, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood.

In the chapters where the author portrays the essence of adolescence, I had some nostalgic moments of my boarding school and college days. Seniors, ragging, the hostel friendships and especially the boy talks. I personally enjoyed the mentions of Mahabharata, Chitrahar, Doordarshan news and Sunday movies.

The narration was simple with bare facts. Anyone can tie in with the story and dialogues. It was like traveling with each character. Tublu's characterization took a backseat in few scenes as the focus shifted onto other characters. This slowed down my reading but the story moved on in it’s own pace. Maina's characterization could have etched better. I liked the character Shilpa, a care free girl. With her brief presence, she made an impact to the story. I liked the relationship Tublu and Shilpa share.

To me, if the first few chapters don't impress me much, I'd lose my interest in reading the book and take my own time to complete it. This straightforward story didn't offer me much thrill but its simplicity kept me reading. As the story took its pace, I was glued towards the end.

I think it’s better to skip the foreword for its spoilers. It reveals the climax right before the start. Even though it is a predictable drama, its better to let the scenes unfold as the story moves on.

Author Jahid Akhtar is one of my blogger friends. He enjoys writing about some of his unforgettable moments, in his blog - Flashbacks. I
 like reading his write ups especially for the sense of humour and that continued in this book too. It’s a wonderful job done for his debut novel.

Altogether, this book is an engaging read and perfectly light when you want to chill out on a journey.

This book is now available at Flipkart and Amazon.

25 Mar 2015

Meet The CitiZens - Adventure In Zenland

‘So What’s Next?’ I thought as I saw the caterpillar on the tree vanished into the smoke he puffed. ‘Does this mean I have more surprises today?’ Even before I concluded my thoughts, I heard an uncanny voice near the tree.

‘Oh my furry whiskers
I’m late. I’m late. I’m late.
For a very important date!’

The bushes behind the tree ruffled and a furry white rabbit, wearing a blue waistcoat and holding a pocket watch, hopped out of his burrow. Checking his time, the furry rabbit started walking in hurry. I got ‘curiouser and curiouser’ to know where the rabbit was heading to. I started following him. On the way, I met 3 men dressed as playing cards.

Three spade card men out of no where
Landed in a parachute gliding in the air
Planting the flowers everywhere
And painting the roses red with flair

That sight reminded me of my morning walk with PixelMaster

Oh! How lovely these flowers are,
Wide open my eyes, I still stare.
Reliving my cherished memory
Visiting their colorful Gallery!

Rabbit’s hurry burry hops brought me back from my memories and I started looking for him. But he was no where in sight.

‘Mister Rabbit Mister Rabbit, where are you?
I don't know What’s Next, tell me, will you?'

While searching for the rabbit, I came across the rummy Tweedle Twins who owned a Playstore, full of games.

‘Come play with us, young girl!
Do you want to crush the candies and eat some?
Or keep your Heads Up and act the words to play dumb?
Come play with us, we are the Dee and Dum!’

‘Well, its nice meeting you both, but I will Do It Later. I got to follow the white rabbit. Goodbye’

As I followed the trails of the white rabbit, it led me to a lonely tree house. There hanged a name board, ZenUI Help Wizard. I climbed onto that house. To my surprise the Caterpillar whom I saw vanished into the smoke earlier was sitting on a mushroom couch, smoking Hookah and reading a book sipping his black coffee. He lifted his head and adjusted his reading glass. ‘A,e,i,o,u,a,e,i,o,u.... Who are you?’

‘I- I hardly know, Sir. I followed the white rabbit but lost my way and ended up here’

‘Ah.. you must be that newbie in town.. I will help you meeting some of our citi-Zens.’

That sounded promising. He was polite and helpful. I was happy to get assistance from the wizard himself.

A pigeon was delivering him an Omlet for his lunch. At the sight of it, I felt very hungry. He invited me to join his table for a chat. I was happy and sat down for my lunch with him. I wished not to forget these wonderful moments. Reading my thoughts, he handed me a yellow notebook. ‘Er. What is this?’ I was puzzled. ‘It’s Quick Memo. Use this magical book to scribble your thoughts quick and short’, he said.

As we continued our delicious Omlet and Chat, the wizard pointed a finger at the branch outside.

‘Meet Mister Pencil Bird,
Over the branch so brown
He may look a bit weird
But he is the best doodler in town’

I peeked out of the window and there I saw a bird with a pointy pencil nose, merrily singing and pecking his lunch.

‘Yum Yum my noodle
Mine is the best doodle
Palette of colors in my tote
Thanks to my Supernote!’

After my hearty lunch with the ZenUI Help wizard, I bid adieu as he was stretching lazily for his power nap. I climbed down the tree house and there I saw the white rabbit.

‘Mister Rabbit Mister Rabbit, Wait for me
Don’t make it a habit, Please guide me’

But the white rabbit replied swiftly,

‘Tick Tock Tick Tock
Screams this mad clock
Hurry Hurry, leave my way
I don’t have all day’

As if he was reminding me something very important and ran through a giant gate disappearing again. I walked into the gate and saw a house wondering whom I’ll meet next. At the door steps it was written “Welcome to the Par-Tea”.

I entered the house and what I saw next amazed me. Merry citi-Zens of the Zenland were partying at a huge table, connecting with each other and sharing their happy moments. PixelMaster smiled and said ‘Turn on your Party Link and Rejoice’.

I pulled out a chair and poured me some hot lemon tea to join them, sharing my happy moments in Zenland. As the evening faded all the citi-Zens were parting out of the party, I saw the white rabbit hopping towards me. He was not in a hurry this time, contrastingly he whispered, ‘Leave all the distractions and focus on what matters, My Princess. When he moved out of sight, all I saw was a yummy looking cupcake left alone at the table. It had a sign board on it saying ‘Eat Me’. I reached for it and took the first bite. Indulged in its taste, my eyes closed for a second.

For the next bite, I opened my eyes and here I was sitting at my dining table with the cupcake in hand. Asus Zenfone 5 was lying on the table next to my laptop. I took it and went through the pictures I clicked, the rhymes I wrote, the doodles I drew and that’s when What’s Next buzzed ‘Publish Your Fairytale’. Even after all my adventure, I was surprised to see the phone’s Battery was still intact.

I fetched the gift box lying under the table and found a small handwritten note inside the mobile case.

Happy Birthday, My Little Princess!

                                                        Loving, Daddy.

Thanks to my Dad, Asus Zenfone 5 turns my everyday life into a fantasy. Now, I am turning on my laptop to publish my Adventure in Zenland.

These doodles were drawn and edited in SuperNote app in Asus ZenFone 5.

PS- This post is written as part of the digital outreach initiative for Asus Zenfone 5. Visit their FB page here#MyAsusZenFone (No5).  Visit my Visual Scrapbook for more pictures at Instagram.

22 Mar 2015

I Am Happy!

Our world is not a fairy tale which offers a happily ever after life. Here we struggle hard to survive and to shine in what we do for our living. But as we see, everyday is filled with simple pleasures to surprise us. These are the gifts of life to celebrate and make it a happy day. We should learn to appreciate simple things that make our life blessed and rejoice life’s simple pleasure.

Everyone have our own definition for Happiness. We all can be happy for so many reasons. We all have moments to cherish. To me, I am happy when I am surrounded by some small but beautiful things. When I laugh, I am happy. Sometimes when I am in tears, I am happy too. I am happy when I realize that I have spent my time well or when I can think of tomorrow as a day to go back, to what I absolutely love to do or when I am smiling right now thinking of my loved ones and the moments we share. I manage to find my happiness in so many little little things around me.

After a hectic day, opening the door to my home and that very moment I feel like I am the happiest person in the world. Running to the balcony and greeting my pet cockatiels and sniffing their smell while they whistle. That is the happy tune, I listen. Or simply sitting, sipping my tea while looking at the colors of dusky sky or lying in my bed, reading a thriller munching cookies. A hot shower after a game or when I see a fluffy Red Velvet Cake or yummy Macarons in my plate, Ah! there goes my diet and I am tuned to be happy.

When I came across this Happy topic given by Coco-Cola #IAmHappy, I couldn’t stop myself but to scribble my simple yet beautiful things that brings joy to me.

I write because writing makes me happy. Writing lets me breathe the scent of freedom and joy. It makes me forget my all sorts of stress. Perhaps, that’s why I write happy stuff in my blog unaware. Now when I look back of what I have written so far, I see a hint of happiness sprinkled all over my nibbles.

Listing here my happy little things which don’t really cost a thing or maybe a little. ;)

Young or old, a toothless grin
Fills me like a delightful summer rain!
Sipping warm ginger tea
With a home-made chocolate brownie!
Smelling roses all my way
Unexpected passing smile makes my day!
Capturing the world around me
Rolling up my pants as I play in the sea!
Books, new dresses and more gifts
Those mild perfumes I love to sniff!
Even one kilo off my weight
And a big hug makes me feel great!

Looking at my old photo album and sharing a laugh
A long silly conversation with my brothers and cousins
A peaceful afternoon nap... Idling with my laptop
Ice creams and sweet dreams... Rhymes and wind chimes...
Walking barefoot on the wet grass... A bike ride or a car-drive...
Helping someone in need... Making others smile...
And lot many simple things makes me happy!

The everyday ounces of happiness are right under your nose. So celebrate your life's simple pleasure and find your happiness today and make your life a happily ever after tale.

19 Mar 2015

Berry'd Alive Everyday!

There are so many things I look forward to experience when it comes to my taste buds. And my Bangalore days gave me enough opportunity to explore some wonderful delicacies. From starters to main course to snacks to desserts and ice creams. I love to eat. Who doesn’t if they are served with yum food?

Being a sweet tooth, I crave for desserts the most. Whenever I go to malls, I don’t want to miss eating ice-creams. It is like I don’t mind skipping my lunch and dinner but no, I can’t skip a dessert. Today I bring you one of my favorite dessert and Ice-cream parlors in Bangalore.

I have visited quite a few Ice cream joints. But when it comes to desserts, Berry’d Alive scores the best.

I first discovered this place when we went for a drive near Indranagar on the lookout for an Ice-cream joint after dinner. It was around 11pm. While all the other shops were closed in that lane, only one corner was brightly lit. It is hard to miss such a spot. We slowed down the car and peeked in. The name itself sounds intriguing. Immediately we stopped and stepped down to try out a new dessert joint. As we entered, a wall full of happy memories welcomed us and the colorful chairs and wall d├ęcor beckoned us inside.

Like many I too get very personal about my love for dessert. But my first look at the menu surprised me. Their menu was huge. The dishes they offer appear quite exclusive. There were more than 40 dishes - a selection of desserts and ice creams from all over the world. From Hot Brownie with Ice-Cream to Lime and Kiwi Nest to Parfaits to Pavlovas to Panna cottas and what not? Choosing off the menu is always a daunting task for us.

The typical strategy when going to Berry’d Alive is that we order separate desserts and share. My brother’s favorite is the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae. In our little over 20 visits he did not order anything else and he is happy with that, while me and my cousins try different every time. I think we almost tried all the desserts off the menu. All were equally delightful and the quantity was filling too. It was well worth the price. It cost Rs.150 per person.

The desserts they serve are rich in flavor and taste with great presentation. The service was quick but it only takes time to decide which one to pick.

The Pavlovas are light, fluffy and crunchy, the Panna Cottas are soft and creamy while the Sundaes melt in mouth.

In the pursuit of my food journey, I discovered this happy place where they serve the most delicious desserts and the best Ice-creams in Bangalore.

My Signature at Berry'd Alive!

If my family and my so called diet allow me, I will visit Berry’d Alive everyday, twice!

My Food Journey Continues...

12 Mar 2015

Through The Looking Glass ~ Adventure In Zenland

I fell into the black hole...

I was filled with so much of wonder that I did not realize that I was falling into space beneath me. Before even I knew, I fell down with a thump. My head was spinning and I could vaguely see someone was standing in front of me. As I focused my eyes, I saw that  was none but me. It was as if I was looking at the Mirror. I was curious to know what I was going to find there. I tried to touch myself standing in front of me but only to see it was a hologram of my own Selfie image.

Surprisingly, I heard somebody calling my name. I turned around to see an odd looking character wearing a lopsided hat, was bowing and welcoming me. I was surely taken a back at his gesture. ‘Welcome! Um, I am PixelMaster. Come with me’. With a tingling sense of excitement, I started walking with him. He took me into a huge glass house. As we entered, he handed me a big magnifying glass and said,

Put your eyes and see, young lass,
Um, Through the looking glass!’

The moment I brought that glass near my eyes, I transported magically into a labyrinth. I was not sure where I was heading to but whatever I saw, they were unbelievably so real.

Smart Remove - Never see strangers ruining your most precious photos

PixelMaster was guiding me through the pathway lined with purple flowers. I was shaded by an archway of beautiful bougainvilleas. My feet touched the soft and wet grass. Every step I took, I was mesmerized by the beauty of that magical garden.

Auto - Excellent image quality comes from superb technology
HDR - Gathers more light allowing finer details to be captured
Low Light - Increased light sensitivity by 400%
and enhanced color contrast by 200%
A long pathway took me to a beautiful land –
'Of scented flowers and colorful trees,
Collecting honey those busy bees,
Morning sun welcomes with a warm smile
Foggy path in front of me lay over a mile,
Birds chirping a happy tune to hum
Squirrels eating walnut offering me some,
Butterflies flying over to fill the scent of roses
Monkeys climbing up and down and making faces,
Azure sky hugs me in a dramatic tone
  Assures my journey a truly magical one!'

Miniature - Works magic to keep the object in focus
Time Rewind - Incredibly 31 pictures are captured in a short burst
so you never miss the perfect moment

That neatly laid road with those yellow flowers sprinkled all over was a beautiful sight to watch while going on a smooth ride with PixelMaster. At the end of the road, I realized that all the visuals I saw were crafted to perfection by the 8MP Camera with a stunning view. I've passed by the 5-element optical lens and with my every blink the visuals stopped still and seized that moment. I was awestruck – how real the photos were!

Depth Of Field - Shoot like a professional with background blur
Miniature - Clear Zoom technology allows you to zoom in 
on distant object while maintaining incredible clarity

Ending the tour Pixel Master said, ‘Er, see you soon’, and waved me goodbye with a smile. I wish my journey never ends - the journey of me being a photographer! 

What's Next?

At the top of the road, I met a Hookah smoking Caterpillar stretching lazily on a lonely tree staring at me in silence. So, What's Next? 

I gave him a puzzled look, not knowing that a busy day awaits me!

To be continued... 

Read --> Meet The CitiZens : Adventure In Zenland

All the pictures were captured and edited with Asus Zenfone 5.

PS- This post is written as part of the digital outreach initiative for Asus Zenfone 5. Visit their FB page here#MyAsusZenFone  (No5).  Visit my Visual Scrapbook for more pictures at Instagram.

This picture post is also shared in Thursday Challenge.

5 Mar 2015

Adventure In Zenland

I can barely move my feet. It’s been such a long day that I can’t wait to get back home and hop onto the bed. All I wish is to have a holiday and some adventure to rejuvenate myself. After the busy traffic hours, I reached home only to see there was no power and zero stamina. The lift not working and I had no other choice but to force myself to climb up the stairs. damn!I cursed my luck. Getting exasperated as I was looking for my door keys among the artifacts in my bag. Good Lord, the keys themselves find my fingers and made my life easier.

The moment I opened the door, BEEP BEEP! My mobile buzzed ‘You’ve got a message!’. I checked and it was from an unknown number. It read, ‘Look for a surprise’ and then immediately my battery went down.

‘Huh.. What is this? Is someone playing prank on me.. uff.’ I was too tired to even take it serious. I pushed open the curtains letting the evening sun spread its light in my living room. As I did that, the first thing I noticed was a small package sitting on my coffee table with my name printed clearly on it. I can still see it in my eyes. There was no sender’s name or a stamp. Mind boggling with all possibilities, who could have sent it? The worst part was I couldn’t check for any clues in my mobile, as it was already dead. The package looked kind of bulky and mysterious. My heart beats faster and my fingers fumbling. I, being a curious rat, ripped off the cover with no more wait.

‘Is it chocolate.. a book..? or...’ I started playing the guessing game. ‘What could it be?’ My mind became too busy and eager to know what it was. As I tear it open, I was expecting something else, but all I saw was my own reflection on a sleek and shiny black screen.

I gave a squeal of joy as I threw away the white box while still holding that thin shiny object in my hand. I read out the imprinted letters, glitter in silver.


I was very excited at the first look of it. In my hands lied the slim and sleek Asus Zenfone 5, like a crisp white bar of chocolate with its edges shining. I was stunned with its lightweight as it settled comfortably in my palm. It had a splendid 5” display screen. The phone vibrated and came to life. It slipped out of my palm. Puff of smoke filled the air. Everything went blank. Apparently, I started to shrink.

The next thing I remembered was me standing over the phone. Dressed like a princess with pretty pink gown, tiara and long sleeved gloves, I started walking on the Gorilla Glass 3. To my surprise no imprints were left behind me. It was smooth and gliding. I bent down and gently touched the screen with my gloves on and experienced the magic of its Glove Touch. With a colorful ambiance and wonderful features I was feeling like Alice in Wonderland. Delighted with the sensitivity of my touch and it’s response, I started to explore more. Magically, I got sucked into the bright Asus TruVivid display and entered the world of ZenUI.

On the entrance, there was a welcome sign ‘Intel Inside’. ‘The world’s best processor is here’, a happy thought struck me. I walked inside with wide eyes In Search Of Incredible.

As I walked further exploring it’s features, I fell into a black hole - like Alice fell and found her wonderland. Here I found my own Zenland.

It is a magical world where I believe anything is possible. My adventure begins now.

To be Continued... 

Read --->  Through The Looking Glass ~ Adventure In Zenland

PS - This post is written as part of the digital outreach initiative for Asus Zenfone 5. Visit their FB page here#MyAsusZenFone  (No5).

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