29 Mar 2016

That Day...

That day, when the dew drops touched the grass gleefully, I saw you were holding me close.

That day, when you held my hand, your eyes spoke silently while I heard their whispers loud.

That day, when your warmth embraced me, I realized love was nothing but an infinite feeling, vast and irresistible, soft yet so strong.

That day, when the breeze played the melody in our ears, I wish I had said something to you.

That day, when the setting sun gazed at us, I couldn't say what I felt but I still remember what happened to me.

That day, when you bade and left, my vision blurred, I did not know it would be the last day to see you alive.

That day, when the sun smiled at me radiantly, I knew that my love for you lives forever.  

#ThatDay Written for Indispire #110
Also linking to WithRealToads Tuesday
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22 Mar 2016

A Glimpse Of Charminar

Charminar ki galiyaan 
Abhi bhi usi chamak ke saath hain
Joh Nawaboon ke zamaane main thain!

View from Charminar

Mr. Crumbles, I am happy that you clicked some amazing shots of Charminar, Hyderabad, which now I can share it here. :P

Follow me on Instagram.

15 Mar 2016

Why Do You Blog?

When I first heard B-L-O-G, I thought it was something way so big that I wouldn't fit in that space. I had other interests, and so I did not even give it a thought of getting to know what it is exactly. Plus it involves writing, which is why I came to a conclusion that blogging was not my type. Among the people I’m close to, my cousin started a personal blog and I was like, Wow she is awesome; she owns a blog. And later I came across an Islamic blog by my friend. That's when, I started giving it a thought, a bit seriously. If they can blog, can’t I? I am as good as them. Or even better?!

Somehow the thought drove me to create a blog and here I am… after 3+ years. I have created my own space in this world where I have met some wonderful people and got a chance to befriend with quite a few. Isn't it amazing?

My mother sometimes argues with me for not helping her in the household but I sit with my laptop like I am typing this right now. She asked me 'Why do you have to blog?'

Ah, good question! Why do I blog? Before I give her a reply, I want to know the answer for myself. 

Frankly, I started this blog, only to escape from my reality; to vent out my mood swings. I was going through a difficult phase in my life, almost losing my identity, and blogging helped me to identify who I am.. to value me.. to respect me for what I am.

I am not going to say that I love writing since my childhood, because I haven't written much apart from my study materials or few times helping my little cousins in their essay writing competition. Oh yeah, those letters that I mailed to my cousins abroad. But No, I never wrote anything personally like expressing myself in a diary or keeping a journal. I am not at all that kind. 

But ever since I created this blog, for my own reason, I have the urge to write. At the beginning, I was not serious about blogging, cos I did not even have a topic to write about. Slow and steady, I built this blog, brick by brick.. and shaped it to what it is now. It was my hobby once, but over the months, I write with love and passion.

Now that I love blogging and I am so much passionate about it, I am sourcing it as a medium to express my creativity and share it with the world. Well, as for my mom's question, I can give a long answer. Like.. I enjoy writing.. I get good opportunities.. I learn new things.. I meet amazing people.. blah blah.. It's true, but really is that all?

Well, there's much more to it, and the answer is simple. I blog because it makes me feel important. It gives me hope. It makes me feel productive. Imagine, I being a small town girl, tied up with so many complexities, can run a blog with a laptop and a WiFi connection and bring a change to myself and a person or two; spread some happiness and smiles while you read my post, isn't that wonderful? Isn’t that something I can be proud of myself? Now that makes me feel very good about me. And I believe that's more important while doing things.. anything as a matter of fact.

This is the era where internet rules. And I am not just idling online and wasting my time stalking profiles or sending random messages to people. I channelize my energy into something good and efficient and it is productive for I am getting returns. I am happy to have found a platform to express my thoughts in a creative way as much as possible.

Well, I blog because it makes me feel proud about myself.

Tell me, why do you blog?

8 Mar 2016

Super Women ~ Book Review

Super Women - a title which required no publicity to make me read. I received the book from the author herself. And what a fine day to present my review to you all. Happy International Women’s Day to all the women out there.

Super Women by Prachi Garg is a collection of inspiring and refreshing tales of 20 young women who stood up, pushed hard and walked proud by proving their mettle both as homemakers and entrepreneurs. 

I loved the cover page. It is simple and apt. It depicts the crux of the book where a lady can excel at both the personal and the social fronts of life. It perfectly complements the title.

'What is civilization? I answer, the power of good women', says Waldo Emersen. This signifies what a good woman can offer to the universe as a whole to make it a better place. As we look to build a better world for ourselves and the future generation, the role played by women in our midst is extremely crucial.

Nowadays, women are excelling in diverse field along with their home management skill. Still, how many of us have explored the entrepreneur side of ourselves. We are great homemakers and that does not mean that we should be stereotyped. Prachi breaks this notion by weaving the stories of 20 young women entrepreneurs of India who have journeyed through challenges at the age of 20-30 and come out with flying colors in pursuing their dreams.

Prachi Garg is an entrepreneur herself, a traveler and a writer. She started www.ghoomophiro.com, an enterprise where the team organizes corporate tours based on the customer's’ requirements, budget and provide them with a bouquet of options. And her initiative of compiling this book is to be appreciated as it will lift the spirits of many women in India.

Each story in this book is appealing that the inherent nature of being a leader in a women will definitely get provoked. The ventures are innovative encompassing a varied range of services in social to retail/ e-tail to educational to sustainability genres - from supporting acid attack victims, to providing free skin care solutions; from online retail of lingerie to handmade bags and fashion accessories; from pet care products to quirky merchandise. These ladies have opened up avenues formerly unexplored.

One of the women entrepreneur mentioned was Ria Sharma founder of the NGO, Make Love Not Scars. While I was reading Ria's story, I was happy to see the name of Haseena. She is my cousin Sarah's friend. Sarah told a lot about her. Since I have heard about Haseena and her story and how she helps others, I understood what Ria meant when she said she only has been helped rather than she helping others. Ria's story talked about how she felt when she first met the acid attack survivors and it showed her vulnerability and the challenges she met at the beginning but afterwards how she was open to change.

In this book, every women portrayed as an individual and not as some hero kind. Perhaps that's why, it is so relatable. Their stories are inspiring but not preachy. And I liked the tone of the book. I reflected on all the awesome moments of leadership I read and I am instantly filled with insights on a better way to think, say or do things. This is the true power of women - which expands the ability of our community multi folds. How much more wonderful will our environment be when we give women the center stage as often as men occupy it!

Super Women gives us insights on how these young successful entrepreneurs crossed their hurdles and succeed in their life. It is a must read for those who aspires to become an entrepreneur.

On this momentous day, on our collective behalf, A big Thank You to all the Women!! Let's infect the world more with our unique spirit and being. Thank you for being here and please take initiative to lead us to a brighter future because you are who you are, the way are.

Truly, a brighter future will be built together with women.

Grab this book in Amazon.in.

4 Mar 2016

Raakshas ~ Book Review

I finished Raakshas last night and I am still dwelling on the plot. A bit haunting but a wonderful read.

Raakshas by Piyush Jha - A fast paced, spine chilling story of a serial killer and the police officer who’s in pursuit.

Piyush Jha, an acclaimed Bollywood director, is famous for his best selling crime fiction novels. And it’s one genre that always entices me. Do I have to give more reasons to pick this book?

First impression - the cover page is too good and the title, catchy. Raakshas : India’s No. 1 Serial Killer is the story of a young man on a killing spree in the murky streets of Mumbai and how the police department handles the case.

The protagonist is Mallika Prasad, Additional Commissioner of Mumbai, who investigates this maniac serial killer case. Despite having a troubled past, one day she realizes that her dream is to bring justice to the society. She tries hard and plans well for this case but then the killer is always a step ahead of her.

The antagonist, who had a tormented childhood grows up to be a young man only to treat murder and brutality as his normal lifestyle.

Both of their characterization was well crafted with their strong back stories. I found the shades of the characters, especially around the antagonist, were only black and white.

The book is captivating, fast, well-written to hold your attention as soon as you start reading. It only took me few hours to finish. With the good language and impressive narration, I was able to visualize the scenes as they unfolded. The plot was quite interesting but with more consistency and intricate characterization and details, it could have been even better.

The entire story is actually narrated by the cop while I think a two way narration would have given much more thrill to the reader. As a reader, I would have preferred the perspective of the serial killer rather than just the cop's.

The relationship between the serial killer and Mallika could have been more complex. The story would have had definitely piqued the interest if their conversations had been longer and deeper. The descriptions of murders were gruesome and I started getting knots in my stomach. But after a while, they became predictive and those grotesque moments were not much effective.

I liked Mallika's plans to catch the killer. But I was awed by the killer's activities, how he was smooth and smart when it comes to charming his victims, the determination he shows during his hiding after almost getting caught and then especially, his way of clearing the evidence.

The book started with a bang but then the climax fell flat. I think this book deserves a better ending after all. 

Is the story trying to create sympathy towards the young boy or trying to rationalize his reasons for turning into a serial killer? It's unclear. Perhaps that could be taken as a plus for this particular plot.

The bonus section at the end, where the author narrates the real life incidents of some infamous gruesome serial killers of India, is strangely enticing to read.

Raakshas is dangerous but not very thrilling. It’s a wonderful script for a movie, but for a book, it is little less.

Altogether, it is a gripping one time read which is a sure page turner.

Grab your copy in Amazon.in and Flipkart, if you're interested in psychological thrillers or crime novels.

1 Mar 2016

Rogue Lawyer ~ Book Review

Thriller is my favourite genre and John Grisham is one of my favourite authors. Other than the genre and the author, the title is catchy and that’s one of the reasons I picked this book. Also this is the first book I read in my new Kindle Paperwhite. And it was much comfortable reading in it.

Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham - A fast paced, gripping story of an unconventional street lawyer.

The first novel I read from the author was The Firm. Since then I have been a big fan of his works. This book is quite thrilling but certainly not up to the mark. As the author has already set high standards, it comes as a tad disappointment to me. It’s about a defense lawyer and the cases/clients he deals with.

Sebastian Rudd, a criminal lawyer, works from his mobile office in a customised van, because of the threats he faces. The story opens with one of his cases. How he defends his client in the courtroom and the ways he use to solve the crime showcase what kind of person he is. Rudd is cool and tough when he argues in the court. A perfect introduction for a rogue lawyer.

Partner, his bodyguard, also does the inside works for his case. Rudd has a son, Starcher who lives with his mother Judith and her girlfriend. There are few good moments between the father and the son. I also enjoyed the confrontation between Judith and Rudd even though she is bit irritable.

The book has a series of cases for the lawyer to handle. There are some interesting court scenes and dialogues. Having different cases and so different clients, the book portrays varied characters. The storyline was well scripted. However different cases they are, I liked how the author connected them all at one point. But still, I felt the climax was abrupt and with open ending, as if there’s a sequel.

Not all the characters made an impact but then they were good enough to build the story. Everything goes well for Rudd until he meets Arch Swanger. I enjoyed this chapter over others. I think Arch is the right villain for a tough nut hero. The story took its pace and ended well.

Needless to say about Grisham’s narration. The smooth writing made my read enjoyable. Rogue Lawyer has its share of action, thrill, twists and turns, romance, drama, tragedy and humour. The story is after all gripping and has all the element for a good thriller. But from John Grisham, this is sure not his best. I’d say, awesome writing but a not a very good book.

Firstly this novel was like reading short stories. When one story ends, the thrill in it was short lived. At one point I felt like watching a television series. So it gave me more than one break before continuing further.

Rogue Lawyer might disappoint you if you're a John Grisham fan. But it does have every element to entertain the readers and make it a thrilling read. To me, it's an okay read.

Altogether, it's a racy thriller with right dose of entertainment. Serves well for a lazy afternoon read.
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