Friday, 31 July 2015

Every Day. (Book Review #14)


          David Levithan's 'Every Day' is unlike any other book you might have ever read. It's the story of ‘A’ who appears in different bodies every day. He's not a person but something more like an individual soul. He can control the bodies he stays in but can't control which body to be in. He can't tell anyone because they will take it as craziness. He meets a girl named Rhiannon who he falls in love with. Their love story will make you hope and cry. I've rated it at four stars on Goodreads.


          A is an ideal person to be, but he's not even a person. He's just some supernatural phenomenon. He is someone who knows how to love and care for others. Even though it's a confusing life to live, he does it every day just like the person in whose body he is in. He tries to stick with this plan until he meets Rhiannon.
          Rhiannon is a kind-hearted girl. She respects people for who they are. She is in a meaningless relationship but when it's time, she thinks about herself. She does what is best for her and the people around her.
          Nathan is another boy who A visits. But, A leaves a trail of his existence which spooks Nathan. He starts a news telecast of the existence of the devil. Justin is Rhiannon's boyfriend for namesake. Their relationship is too weird. They hang out, but that charm of being in love is nowhere. Moreover, he's a jerk.

Story line:

        A adapts a total of 41 bodies on 41 days respectively throughout the novel. He is in the form of Justin (Rhiannon's boyfriend). He treats her like the person he truly loves. He treats her like Justin would never think of doing. From there starts this love story. He meets her often after that day, each time as someone new. Then finally one day he tells her the truth of his life. Rhiannon accepts it eventually, but it becomes very difficult to be in a relationship where she doesn't know who he will be or where he will be or whether this will ever stop. Meanwhile, he gets threats from Nathan. When Rhiannon ends things with A, he agrees to meet Nathan and tell him the truth. Nathan listens to everything and even believes it because he had gone through it too. The next time they meet, Reverand Poole comes along. That's the time when A understands that there is someone who is inside of him too and has been for a long time. He understands that it's possible to stay inside one body. The next day A is in the body of Alexander. Someone who is just how A would want to be. He meets Rhiannon while being Alexander and has a beautiful evening with her. A basically sets them up and says his final goodbye to Rhiannon as he decides to learn the next things.

Overall Thoughts:

          I hadn't read what the story was about before. So when I started it, I was so intrigued. Such a concept of living inside bodies and changing every day was so unusual. I think that's why there's no limit to fiction. A story between a soul and an actual person seemed very unreal to read. I was glued for over 80 % of the story. I loved how both of them were trying to make it work. But it became tedious after a few of their meetings. It was interesting to read when A was Rhiannon. (Knew that was coming.) In the end, as they apart, it becomes so sad. They are so perfect for each other, but if only A was an actual living being. It'll make you wonder about the unreasonable lives of people who go apart when they're meant to be together.
          I loved how the author made the bodies so different. He put up every kind of problems that teenagers face in every person. Kelsea Cook is a depressed suicidal girl who writes down ideas for how to kill herself. Dana is an alcoholic who drunk drived which killed her brother. Nathan is a geek who gets laughed at just because of the clothes he wears. There had to be at least one gay couple; Hugo and Austin. There's another girl named Valeria who is engaged in child labour. All these stories about so many people with different backgrounds are good to read. It makes us understand the lives, luxuries and problems from among each class. It doesn't only focus on what's real and what's not, but it focuses on enlightening it.

(Original Picture Credits.)

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Writing A Book Review.

          Books give me two reasons for happiness; reading and writing. I love to read books and then I love to write my reviews on them. That's why, it's double happiness for me. While reading, I go through the story first hand. And while writing a review on it, I go through it again. Here's how I go through the process from reading to writing.

1. Which Books to Review:

          I don't necessarily write a review on every book I read. If I love a book, it's most likely that I'll write a review. (Like, A Thousand Splendid Suns.) If I love the book too much, I may not write a review because of my overwhelmed state wherein I may be short of words. (Like, 'The Fault in our Stars'.) If I hate a book, I'll write a review trying my best not to come off as too critical. (Like, Gone Girl.) So, basically, there are no fixed rules as to which book to write a review on. You should enjoy the reading process. Think over it after you've finished it. Then, think if you want to write a review or not. At times, just as I begin, I know that I'll most likely review it. At times, I know that I just won't.

2. My Reviews:

          My reviews contain four aspects; Introduction, Characters, Story line and Overall Thoughts.

Introduction: In this, I give a general idea about what to expect from the book. I state the genre and the basic topic. It's very important to not give spoilers unless in the 'Storyline' section. So, this section is sort of a blurb.

Characters: I love to write this part of the review. It gives an edge to the entire thing. After reading a book, you get an idea of the characters. You understand them and how their brain works. You know if they're being kind, dumb or naughty. This section is something that comes from my own way of contemplating them. This is the part of the review which you can't find anywhere in the book because it comes from my thoughts.
I write about the main characters with a proper description while I give 1 or 2 sentences worth for the other characters. Writing about every single one of them is inconsequential. There's no point mentioning a character who only exists for 10 % of the story and also is insignificant.

Story line: This is the part where I write the story in brief. I try my best to stick to the story but many times I add my opinions regarding a certain incident. Any person who seems interested in reading the book based on the 'Introduction' and 'Characters' segment above, should evade this segment. Any person who has already read the book can read the entire review to keep the story fresh in mind.

Overall Thoughts: This is my favourite part of the review. I write how I feel about the story in general. I write about some line which I love. I write about something that I hate. I write about how it changed my life in any way. I try to state the message sent by reading it. Or the message I got after reading it between the lines. I just write my overall opinion.

3. How to Read:
  • Stay attentive while reading the book. It's good to remember all the tiny details.
  • Always bookmark or highlight any lines or paragraphs or moments that you enjoyed. Like some incidents worth reading again.
  • Keep an open mind. Even if the plot becomes boring, finish the book.
  • Know the characters. Try to interpret them and peek in their lives.
  • Always remember that the faster you read, lesser you forget.
4. How to Write:
  • You should always mention the name of the author. You can learn a lot from the author's style of writing and mention these details.
  • If you're providing a blurb directly from the back of the book or from Goodreads, specify so. It's always safe to mention the source.
  • Stay away from other people who have reviewed the book. If you read other reviews before writing your own, it may cloud your judgement. Your original thoughts may disappear making the review a misthought one. You can read them later on, of course.
  • Judge if every book in a particular series needs a separate review. You can always write a single review of the entire series. I've written two series reviews of If I Stay series and Just One Day series.
  • "Don't judge a book by its cover" is something we all know. But adding an image of the book adds more charm to the review. You can also add photos of quotes from the book or stills from the movie adaptation. Just like I did with We Were Liars review.
I consider all these points before writing a review. I hope you find this useful. You can check out the book reviews I've written here. I'd be happy to read your reviews too.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

100 Books and Counting.

          What is it about a book that is so appealing that one cannot stop reading? Reading is something that has become so natural for me. It's like breathing. Not a day goes without reading a book. Even if it's just one chapter for a few minutes, I always read. I remember that first book that I actually read till the end. From that book started a hobby which has now become a passion. That book wasn't some out-of-the-world life-changing novel. It was just a simple story which was very interesting. 'Five Point Someone' was that book. And since then, Chetan Bhagat has been one of my favourite authors. It doesn't matter what people think of his books, but I know this. Whenever he writes one, the very next moment I'd have pre-ordered it. (Yes, I have pre-ordered 'Making India Awesome'.) I guess that's the least I can do. That was the first and now here I am on my 100th book. I can't believe that I've read 100 books! For some, it may not be a huge number but I feel pretty great about it. Over the few years, I've read some great authors and learnt some valuable lessons. Books have taught me a lot about life and people. Reading so much has inspired me to write. It's something that I will never give up.

Here are some of the books which I've rated with five stars on Goodreads.

Here are some of the books which I've rated with four stars on Goodreads.

Here are some of the books which I've rated with three stars on Goodreads.

Here are some of the books which I've rated with two stars on Goodreads.

Here are some of the books which I've rated with one star on Goodreads.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

House of Cards. (Book Review #13)


          Sudha Murty is a brilliant Indian author who writes novels that send a message for improvement. 'House of Cards' is no different. This book highlights how a person changes with money. It shows how a woman should stand for what she believes in. It puts forth the fakeness of rich people and showcases their real behaviour. It's the story of a village girl, Mridula who marries a doctor, Sanjay. While it brings out the meaning of marriage, it also shows the true side of corruption and portrays the difference in lifestyles of poor and the rich. This book almost has it all. I've  rated it at 4 stars on Goodreads. 


          Mridula is a girl from rural Karnataka who is intelligent, beautiful and independent. She is a teacher who believes strongly in idealism. Every Indian woman can reflect a Mridula in themselves. She supports her husband but when Dr. Sanjay becomes a famous gynaecologist, he starts to dismiss her. Soon, she becomes a wife who is dominated by her husband and a mother who is taken for granted.
          Dr. Sanjay comes off as a smart, sweet and caring person at the beginning. But as money starts to rule him, his outlook towards life changes. His only motto becomes that 'Money is Power'. The Sanjay from page 1 is leaps and bounds different from the Sanjay at page 232. 
          Sishir is the only son of Mridula and Sanjay. He idolises his father and doesn't value his mother. He's the rich spoilt brat and a spendthrift because of his father's inspiration to enjoy life. While his mother tries her best to give him a good upbringing, Sanjay and Sishir never take her seriously. After Neha's speech, he realises how important his mother is.
          Sanjay's mother is a money-minded person. She calculates everything in terms of money. She isn't that much mentioned, otherwise it becomes intolerable to read her vision of life. Laxmi (Sanjay's sister) is another money-minded person who loves to show-off. Her whole family spends a lot just to claim a higher status. Mridula's parents are kind-hearted and always help her with everything whenever needed. Neha is Sishir's friend and exists only for a few pages, but her words are gold. Her way of thinking is just like Mridula's with more clarity.

Story line:

          The beginning of the novel is a short love story between Mridula and Sanjay. It's really amazing how they meet and everything happens fast and then they're married. I know this isn't a romantic novel, but more details of their love story would've been nice. During that period, Sanjay's transfer takes place and corruption happens. After they're married, they aren't exactly financially sound. They go through ups and downs. Mridula works in Bangalore while her husband finishes his post-graduation. At that point, it seems how well-balanced their marriage is. Soon, Sanjay starts a nursing home with his friend Alex. It grows fast and brings in money. Sishir is born at that time. As Dr. Sanjay becomes popular in Bangalore, his nursing home becomes the best one. With money, comes power and greed. The family starts to live in a posh home with many cars and maids for everything. Then, there's a major twist. Mridula understands that Sanjay had been cheating her. He earned black money and kept it in a joint account with his sister. With that money, Laxmi brought everything that was possible to buy; a house, a car and jewelry. Mridula is shocked at this mistrust by her husband. But Sanjay is least bothered and considers it like nothing. Mridula shuts herself and goes into depression. She goes to many people for aid and finally ends up with a psychiatrist. She heels and starts to feel good about herself in a few months. It's then that she understands the root cause. She leaves Sanjay and goes to her village in Aladahalli. By that time, Sishir, who is in England, understands her and asks his father to bring her back. Quite surprisingly, Sanjay also feels lost and lonely without his wife. The story ends as he goes to her village and finds her.

Overall Thoughts:

          'House of Cards' focuses on many issues prevalent in India. It states how poor people don't get seats for what they deserve. It shows how rich people's lives are fake and shallow. It shows how trust, honesty and compassion must co-exist in a relationship. And lastly, it shows how money can destroy a family and a marriage. With the constant time leaps, the depth of the story is often lost. Another point which should've been crucial was the last sentence. It said, "Sanjay was holding the swing, with his one good arm." This somehow shows how he continued to control her life. Instead, the most important last sentence could've been something like, "Sanjay swinged her higher with his one good arm." That would mean freedom. Apart from these two misses, the story is fantastic and a must-read.

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Wait. (Monday Moments #9)

          We are constantly waiting for something to happen. Our life is nothing but a wait. Some are waiting to catch their morning train. Some are waiting for the boring lecture to end. Some are waiting for their order at the restaurant. A few people like me are waiting for their graduation results. Some are waiting for death while some are waiting to truly live. Here's a moment that many await. The wait of falling in love.

          He was the single guy in his group. All his friends were either engaged or married while he was waiting for 'the one'. At the age of 29, he felt lonelier than he ever felt before. As he sat at the reception party of his friend's wedding, he could only see all the happy couples around him. It was like a camera roll of people destined to be together. He first glanced at the newly married couple. They couldn't stop smiling. Their love for each other was so evident as it sparkled through their eyes and touched others' hearts. His other friend and his wife were sitting at the adjacent table. They were together since college which meant that they were together for more than 10 years. Their hands were entwined as they reminisced their wedding day. He thought, "What is it about weddings? Every couple is happier watching the newlyweds. While the 'forever alone' category of people feel empty." He suddenly remembered all those times when he felt this way. He felt it while watching 'Titanic'. He felt it while reading 'A Walk to Remember'. He felt it strongly on Valentine's Day. It never went away. As he sat there, all alone, he was still hoping that someone will come along. He was still waiting for his soul mate. At that moment, he was just waiting. Waiting for a miracle. Waiting for his special someone. Waiting for his life to start with that person he hadn't yet met. He felt helplessly lonely, but he believed that he will fall in love someday. It will be just like he had dreamed, if not better. At that moment, he knew that this waiting was sad, but he knew he will cherish it someday. At that moment, he felt like this waiting would leave him alone all of his life. But, somehow he also knew that when the wait would be over, he would have found 'the one'.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Saturday, 25 July 2015

6 Things You Shouldn't Forget When You Have A Busy Life.

           My college is about to start and I fear that I'll be that kind of person who just gets too busy studying. I fear that I won't get that much time to write and read. I'm sure that this extensive course will take a lot of my time, but my commitment to my blog isn't going anywhere. Perhaps, that was the main reason I'm writing this post. When I'll read this after a couple of months, it'll help set me back on track and motivate me to do the things I love.

          You all know people who used to hang out with you all the time. But then they got a job and you never saw them again in months. It's important to have a job. But it's also important to have people. As the famous Barney Stinson quote says,

"Whatever you do in this life, it is not legendary unless your friends are there to see it."

 I think that even when you're piled up with lots of assignments, you shouldn't forget about these things. I think that even when you're at a top position career-wise, you shouldn't forget about these. I think that when you're hurt or sad, you should remember these things. These are some of the things you should never let go. They are your true possessions and treasures. Here's the list of what you shouldn't ever forget no matter how busy you get in your life.

1. Family:
          When people work 80 hours a week, they hardly get to spend time with their family. Working all the time is not good for your physical and mental self. You must spend time with your family. When you talk to your parents even for some time, it makes them happy. When you have a nice conversation with your spouse, your marriage stays healthy. When you play and talk with your kids, you get so much love back. When you talk with your siblings and cousins, you'll enjoy their company. When you show up at a family get-together, you know how everyone will be delighted. And you can bet that you'll have a great time. Staying in touch with your family is the most important thing. Even if you lose your job, they'll always be there to support you. So make it a habit to be with them and cherish the fact that they are in your life.

2. Friends:
          Friends are our second family. They are the people we always turn to when we need some advice from people our own age. If you are so busy with your lives then so are they. It's not like the old college days. You can't all just bunk your office to watch a movie and hang out. Those days, as amazing as they were, are now over. Instead of wishing that, you could just meet them and share the happenings in your lives. Sharing is caring. And when it comes to friendships, you should share everything with them. Maybe they're also going through the same stage as you are. Maybe, they might have some brilliant ideas to get you out of trouble. And if you're not in trouble, they'll be more than happy to know that you're doing well. After all, they are the people who once believed your crazy theories and joined you in them. The least you can do is meet each other often and not let your precious friendship go away.

3. Hobby and Passion:
         It's almost impossible to keep up with your hobbies when you lead a busy life. But the thing that you love to do is what your passion is. Even if you're working too much right now, you might have that something which you always wanted to do and I think you should never let go of that passion. If you are an amateur photographer, then you must keep taking pictures whenever you can. Even when it's just of the birds from your balcony. You shouldn't lose that touch. If your ultimate aim is to write a novel, then you must always keep that in the back of your mind and keep writing something every day. If you won't get time, create it. You can always use the time to and from your office for such things. Just never dull that sparkle.

4. Physical Health:
         It might be difficult to get 8 hours of sleep or proper food intervals or time to exercise. But these are not options. These are the things that are a must to live a healthy life. Short hours of sleep will make you drowsy, irritable and inefficient at work. If you don't eat properly at stipulated intervals, you might get sick or tired. If you don't workout, you'll tend to gain weight because of your sedentary job. You must at least try to get all these things in correct proportions. Skipping few hours of sleep or skipping breakfast or skipping a workout session is not right. It'll start with one day and turn into a habit. So try to stay fit.

5. Mental Health:
          Your mental health is strong because you work. But if you hate your job or get tired of that busy life, you can get yourself in trouble. Excessive working isn't good. You may get stressed or depressed. You can't let that happen to you. To keep your sanity, you should do something apart from you job. You could read newspapers or a humorous novel. You can play some sport with your friends. Or you can meditate which is the best thing for relaxation. Don't go crazy.

6. Yourself:
          Sometimes people commit themselves to their work so much that they forget what they're doing. They get trapped in a maze and then it becomes difficult to get out. Sometimes people become obsessive about their job that all they talk about is their job. Don't let yourself get carried away. Keep your sanity and remember that it's only a job which helps you to do what you're best at. There's no point leaving the people in your life for it. There's no point in worrying at all. Just be the person you always were.

How do you manage to keep everything perfect while leading a busy life? Do share.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Just One Day Series. (Book Review #12)

          I had loved Gayle Forman's 'If I Stay' series so much that she became one of my favourite authors. Right then I had decided to read the rest of her books. So currently, I'm reading all of Gayle Forman's novels. Here's a review of the lovely 'Just One Day' series.

          'Just One Day' series is a love story of Allyson and Willem. It's a wonderful fairy tale where the American tourist girl (Lulu) falls in love with the Dutch guy (who speaks many languages) as they wander around the love city of Paris. 'Just One Day', as told by Allyson, is the classic and romantic part that starts the story. 'Just One Year', as told by Willem, is how he spends the entire year finding his Lulu. 'Just One Night' is a 40-page novella where they meet, at last. They know that they're stained for life. It's not as life-changing or wondrous as 'If I Stay' but it is something. It's that kind of story that you'll fall in love with. It's that kind of story that will make you believe in fate and love. If you're a romantic, you should give it a read.
          'Allyson Healey' is a girl who plans everything, never misses a deadline and never does something stupid just for fun. Her life is organised (if not perfect) until she meets Willem when her life really takes some meaning. She becomes herself with him. Even though she spends only a day with him, she finds her real self in that one day. She then becomes someone who follows her heart, someone who moves on, someone who thinks before panicking.
          'Willem de Ruiter' is an actor who'll inspire you to travel more. His family is small and complicated so he finds solace by travelling. He uses it as a reason to avoid home. Even though he comes off as a flirt, his love for Allyson is so pure. He not only falls in love but stays in love with her. His philosophies are thought-provoking. And the way his love for acting is portrayed through his Shakespearean roles as 'Sebastian' and 'Orlando' is breath-taking.

Story line:
          In the first book of the story, Allyson is the protagonist, which helps the readers know about her aspect of life during that one day and the rest of the year. The beginning is where the love story enfolds. For both of them, just one day was enough to fall in love. But the next day, she thinks that he ran off. She grows to despise him as she gets depressed and can't focus. Soon, she leaves for college. She's aloof most of the time until she changes some subjects. She takes the class 'Shakespeare Out Loud' where she befriends Dee. Their friendship is unique. It was him who makes her realise that maybe Willem is not who she thought he was. After that, she decides to track him down. Her family is opposed to her decisions and doesn't help her on this. A year passes by, learning Shakespeare, working in a restaurant, and she sets off for Paris. She sets off to find her true love. She goes from place to place. And after all the ups and downs, destiny comes in when she sees him after an entire year. She goes to find him at his home and that's where the first book ends on a cliffhanger.
          You'd hope that you'll get a lot of romance in the second book and that it'll take off from that cliffhanger. But it doesn't. Willem is the protagonist in 'Just One Year' where he tells his part of the story until the time Allyson is at his doorstep. As expected, he didn't just run off but instead got beaten up. It's kind of a reverse story to 'Just One Day'. The reader knows what might happen but isn't sure exactly how it will. This is a brilliant way of thinking by Gayle Forman. Further, his year is spent in a lot of travellings. He goes to Mexico, India, Amsterdam. I absolutely loved the part when he's in India. (Maybe because I'm an Indian!) Willem patches up the long lost relation with his mother Yael while in Mumbai. I loved Prateek's role. Especially the way he showed his pride for the nation by stating some quick facts. Willem finds a small role in a Bollywood movie. Then, he goes back to Holland. I loved how he meets Kate. It's like every tiny detail had fate written over it. Willem becomes an understudy at a theater in Amsterdam, but then actually plays the main role of 'Orlando' in 'As You Like It'. And then the book ends when she is at his doorstep (again.)
          'Just One Night' is when Willem and Allyson meet after a year and just want to be with each other. It's the closure a reader needs. In this, Willem gets to work with Kate in New York City, which is so close to where Allyson lives. It's all about those accidents after all.
Overall Thoughts:
          I've rated all the three books at four stars!
Even when I didn't like the whole Paris thing, I was soon glued. It's not a story where you have to think. It's simple and serendipitous. Literature nerds will love it because of the whole Shakespeare effect to it. You'll be amazed at how everything just falls perfectly in place at the end. It feels like you're actually there. When you say, "She's right at that beach! Just find her already!", you know how attached you've become to the story. When you read that they play music by 'Adam Wilde', you just smile at the genius mind of the author. When you read words like 'stained' and 'accidents', you know you'll always remember the book then. While you finish the series, you hope something as amazing as that should happen to you. You just fall in love with the story. You are in a state of double happiness.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Games to Play at a Sleepover.

          Do you remember the times when you had a sleepover with just your close friends? Those times when you were so excited to spend some great time catching up with your best friends or cousins? Those times when you just spent the entire night gossiping or watching horror movies? Some of us are hardcore party planners who decide how everything should be done. Right from assigning everyone to bring junk food, music and sometimes even a karaoke system. I'm sure you have had amazing fun-filled enjoyable night-ins. And I also think that some of them weren't much fun. Maybe there were gaps of boring hours where you just sat not knowing what to do. The time when you were on your mobiles doing nothing. Here's what can make your night-ins really fun. Whenever my aunt and cousin brother come to stay with us, we just play a lot of games. And it's so much fun. Sometimes we have laughed so hard that our stomachs began aching and our loud laughs were heard downstairs. So, I think that you can have fun, share a good laugh or two and just enjoy time with your dear ones just by playing these games. After all, getting wasted is just what lame people do who don't know what to do with their lives. Instead, play on.
Here's a list of my personal favourite games. Some of them provoke laughter. Some of them are simple. Some of them bring back memories. While some of them are just for fun.

1. Pictionary:
          Pictionary is my most favourite game which deserves to be at the top of the list. In this, more people equals more fun. You just have to draw something that's on the card. The other team mates are supposed to guess it. I have played this game with friends and family and there's not a minute where I wasn't laughing. If you're bad at drawing then you 'must' play this because it double the laughter. You've to use logic and innovation, if you're a bad artist. In case you don't have the board game, you can always come up with some weird and difficult words, write them on chits, put those in a fish bowl, use your mobile timer and play. You can take up any category by this method. So, if you're bored or had a fight, just suggest this game and the mood will be set right! I've even written a moment of this in my 'Monday Moments' series.

2. Dumb Charades:
           This is another popular game. In this, a person has to act a particular film and others have to guess. This is also more happening with teams. Sometimes people act so funny that you have to laugh it off. At other times, the film itself is so alien that you'll just waste half the time thinking how to act it. Once there was a Bollywood movie named 'Corporate' which none of us could've guessed. Even thought it seems simply, it's quite difficult to act. Time just flies by while playing dumb charades.

3. Spin the Bottle:
          Everyone is familiar with this classic game of 'Truth or Dare'. You just have to spin the bottle. When it stops, the person at one end will ask and the other will reply. This game can be played only with friends to make it more fun. Some dares can be really obnoxious. But dares get more exciting on a night-out. Most people just answer some questions truly. You cannot keep a secret. It's fun what all you may get to know about a person. Sometimes it helps to know each ther better while at times it just spills some beans.

4. Cards:

          There are plenty of card games to play. Cards aren't as fun as the earlier games but they have their own charm. My favourites are 'Judgement', 'Home Alone', 'Rami', 'Uno' etc. I never play poker. So, there's no gambling; just a game for fun.

5. Antakshari:

          This is a game where one team sings a song. Then, the the next team sings a song ending from the song of first team's last letter. It's just singing and more singing. Personally, I don't like this game. But most Indians happen to love it. So, here it stands on my list. If you're a Bollywood lover and know all the songs, then it's quite enjoyable.

6. Other Games:
          There a few board games I used to like, such as 'Business' and 'Monopoly'. You can also have quite the fun with Lego. There's no age limit for that after all. If you have all the requirements, you can play a round of Carrom or Snooker. You can go classic with 'Name, Place, Animal, Thing'. There are many chit games you can enjoy.

So, that pretty much sums up my favourites. Which ones do you like?

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Some Disliked Books. (Book Review #11)

          You might have observed how the list of 'Books Read in 2015' at the bottom of the page has increased. Right now, I have a lot of free time to read which has allowed me to read about 8 books in July alone. Amongst them, these three books I just hated.
We the Animals by Justin Torres.
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka.
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger.
I found these books under a list of 50 Incredible Novels under 200 Pages. They sounded quite interesting, but I'm afraid I had the hardest time finishing them. I could've read 'The Book Thief' faster than these three books combined. And that's saying something. So, anyway here is a short review about these three most boring books.

1. We the Animals by Justin Torres.

           I read this one three books ago and I don't even remember the story. Oh wait, there is no story! It's just a book where the protagonist is weird. His entire family is also weird. All the time while reading, you'll have confusion about one thing or the other. Sure, there are some paragraphs with humour, innocence and love. But, there's no use to read a whole book for just those few paragraphs. The end was also too bizarre. I rated this book with one star on Goodreads.

 2. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka.

          When I started reading this, I was quite interested. I was glued to it for the first 20 pages or so. The writing was different and fun to read. But, as the story progressed, it got boring. That same style of writing became too tedious to read. The sentences started to make lesser and lesser sense. It's a story of Japanese women who migrated to America. It's the story of their lives from moving to America, getting married, giving birth, parenting and then about the war. It would've been more interesting if the author wouldn't have mentioned 12-13 versions for every woman. Also, I though that the title doesn't match with the story line. I have rated it with one star on Goodreads.

3. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger.

          J. D. Salinger is quite a popular face in the classics section of literature. His famous book 'The Catcher in the Rye' is loved by almost everyone. Here's a fact, I didn't like 'The Catcher in the Rye' nor did I like 'Franny and Zooey'. And I don't like this author. Let's just leave 'The Catcher in the Rye' alone. Now, 'Franny and Zooey' was much better than the previous two books I've mentioned. Its story was visible. The characters were really good. It would've made a lot of sense if it had more than 2 or 3 conversations. The only agenda of this book was to make Franny a normal person again. I don't know why the first scene was even needed. The long letter was quite eccentric. Then there is an aimless conversation in the bathroom. It's followed by one long conversation between Franny and Zooey (siblings), half of which is just jibber jabber. Then after the last short conversation on the phone is what the end of it was. I liked how the author stretched a single thing for so many pages. It's an all right book for aspiring writers. It can help in building up characters and writing about simple things in depth. But it'll be a boring venture for readers. I've rated this book two stars on Goodreads.

Have you read any of these books?  Which are your most hated books?

Monday, 20 July 2015

Boredom. (Monday Moments #8)

          It was a usual Friday evening, but she just couldn't stand it anymore. She was bored beyond limits. She thought it'd be a great weekend because of the little trip she had planned with her friends. But, it was ultimately cancelled. She was still sulking about that. At any other day, she could've done many interesting things. But, this evening had rendered her useless. She started watching a movie but gave up on it within fifteen minutes. It was just not the best solution. Instead, she tried to read a book. But, she was too bored to pay attention. When she had to read the same page thrice, she quit the book. It was past 7 PM and the atmosphere was nothing but gloomy which stroked out the option of an evening stroll. There was a weird orange-red sheet of clouds outside which radiated more helpless laziness. She started browsing through the internet. Sometimes, she could spend hours on that favourite application but that didn't happen that day. She thought about possibly all the options. She tried out all of them. She got bored with each one of them. Her parents were also tired of telling her to do something. Her level of boredom had reached its peak. She had messaged her friends to meet up for some time. But, that message which remained unanswered angered her even more. She caught herself in an environment of nothingness. She just sat on her couch when it clicked her. She took out her camera and started to take random photos. Soon, those random photos weren't that random. And soon that boredom wasn't that boring. At that moment, she understood how one tiny thing can be so vital. That moment turned her boring self into an active one. She was out of that boredom zone after all.
          We all have such days or moments of hyped boredom. Sometimes it's quite easy to get out of them but at times it's just impossible. It feels like we are imprisoned in a vortex of boredom and there's no possibility of getting a bail. At such bored times, we just need to find that one thing which will get us out of that stance. Find that thing and be awesome instead of being boring.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Friday, 17 July 2015

10 Reasons I Love Monsoons.

          Indian monsoons are the most amazing thing that a person needs to experience. The point when the constant summer heat is taken away drop by drop is so satisfying. I love how there's a certain calmness in the air and how beautiful everything seems after it has rained. I know it hasn't rained much this season, but one can always hope. People love and hate monsoons for a number of reasons. Here's why I love monsoons.

1. Environment:
          First rain is remarkable as it changes the environment. It takes away the humidity leaving a subtle coolness. Once it starts raining, the trees appear greener, the roads appear cleaner and the people seem more refreshed. It's a season which brings out changes in nature. I love how it affects our surroundings leaving it in a bliss.

2. Reading:
         For a girl like me, there's no other pleasure than sitting by the window, reading a book, drinking tea while it rains outside. It's so much more peaceful to read during monsoons. It's obviously more fun to cuddle up in a blanket with a book in monsoons rather than summers. It's even more interesting when it's a love story as monsoons are romantic.

3. Writing:
          When you just stand in your window looking at the rains, you're happy. You start thinking about beautiful things which you write down ultimately. Rains prove to be a great motivational booster for writers. One can even think about trying their hand at writing poems. Something in the air just gives you the push to write more.

4. Photography:
          Rainy season is the favourite season for photographers, I think. Capturing rain drops on the leaves or kids playing with paper boats or a couple enjoying the season or rainbows is just too much to resist. There are so many wonderful things that can be captured during monsoons. I bet it must be absolutely fun to go on photo walks. But, of course, you need to take care of your camera from the rain. 

5. Nostalgia:
          I know this from my experience that monsoons can be quite nostalgic. You see one thing after the other which takes you back in the past days. Because of monsoons, we cherish those thousands of memories. Monsoons have so much power that they can make us think and wonder. I don't think anyone ever is as nostalgic in other seasons as in monsoons. They also have another power of rendering us useless. We get a good excuse not to go outside and enjoy staying at home. Laziness gets the best of us in the rainy season.

6. Smell of Earth:
          This is another major reason to love monsoons. That amazing smell when the rain drops hit the ground and leave us sniffing to that addictive smell of the mud. Everyone loves that smell and there's no reason to be ashamed of it. Because, as other reasons, monsoons can do that to us.

7. Getting Wet:
          Most people have stopped getting wet in the first rains because of the harm it can do to us. But, isn't there pure joy in just getting wet in the rain, no matter what? That feeling is so unmatched to anything else. Dancing in the rain or playing football is also so much fun. Driving during monsoon is also enjoyable. I know it can be risky, but that fun is immeasurable.

8. Food and Drinks:
          There are these typical things we always do when it rains. How perfect is it to eat those onion pakodas with a cutting chai? Or eat that corn bhutta? They taste so incredulously tastier during monsoons. It's as if they're the official monsoon food.

9. Rainwear:
          Monsoon entails some rainwear shopping. You can finally flaunt your colourful umbrellas, cool wind cheaters and stylish sandals. You could also buy water-proof makeup. Isn't that just another added advantage of monsoons?

10. Romantic:
          Monsoon is clearly the most romantic season of all. There's just some magic which comes with it that turns everything romantic. Couples just need an excuse to go on a weekend getaway. Even the single folks are happier while they watch romantic movies alone. It's totally the season of love.

What's your favourite part of monsoons?

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Physical Book Vs E-Book.

          I love reading; be it a paperback, hardcover or an e-book. In my opinion, it doesn't matter what the form is. Only words matter. But, many people have their opinions that one is better than the other. Just as an analysis, I have made my points too. It's not a differentiation. These are just the best points about each. As much as I love the feel of a physical book, I love the convenience of an e-book.

Here are my favourite segments relating to a physical book:

1. Appealing:
A paperback or a hardcover is so much attractive. It can be photographed or adored. It has this physical beauty which cannot be overlooked. It always feels lively to read.

2. Bookshelf:
Now, a physical bookshelf is much more amazing than an online one. You can arrange the books as you want, as per authors or colours. An abecedarian bookshelf is really very proper.

3. Book Smell:
It sounds silly, but the smell of new books is actually very addictive. It gives you the feeling of a library and cheers you to read. Book sniffing is very obsessive, as a matter of fact.

4. Signed Copy:
You can get a signed copy from the author only on a physical book. Isn't it one of the major reasons to buy these? An author's signature is like treasured gold for readers.

Every reader loves to own different kinds of bookmarks. There are so many types these days. I made some bookmarks over the summer. And, it's really fun to have a collection of cool bookmarks.

6. Gift:
Gifting a book is always the best idea. Especially when you have bookworm friends, it's the best way to show your love. Also, physical books, though expensive, can be sold.

Here are my favourite segments relating to e-books:

1. Storage:
Kindle or other e-book readers have so much space that you can store many e-books. Because they are just in KBs, it's suitable to store many e-books. 

2. Cheaper:
The primary cost of purchasing Kindle is significant. But, the cost of e-books is much cheaper than the physical ones. Free e-books are also available online. You can also take advantage of Amazon discounts.

3. Fast Downloads:
This is one of the best things about reading online. If you finish reading one book in a series and can't wait to read the next, then you can simply download it in a matter of minutes. Instead of going to a book store or ordering online, this is much quicker.

4. Light/Portable:
It's a known fact that Kindles or tablets are much lighter than physical books. You can even carry them while travelling. That's one important boon of technology.

5. Day/Night Feature:
There are many features for e-books. You can use white background and black words during the day. You can use black background and white words during the night. There are also different patterns. You can also change the font face, size etc.

6. Highlighting:
You can bookmark a sentence or paragraph that you've liked easily. You can do it without spoiling the book. This is something I don't do on physical books because one doesn't just write in those.

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